Thursday, December 01, 2005

LIVERMORE Nuclear lab gets OK to double plutonium U.S. Energy Dept. approves storage of 300 bombs' worth

Keay Davidson, Chronicle Science Writer
Thursday, December 1, 2005

The U.S. Department of Energy has decided to double the amount of radioactive plutonium that can be stored at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, enough for as many as 300 nuclear bombs, agency representatives said Wednesday.

Energy Department officials approved the increase less than five months after a scientific panel for the agency urged that virtually all the plutonium now stored at Livermore be removed from the growing city to a safer, more remote site, probably in a desert in a different state.

The change will allow plutonium from other nuclear sites, including Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, to be shipped to Livermore for the lab's program of studying long-term decay of nuclear bomb parts and finding ways to maintain the bombs.


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